Afnan S.

Operations Specialist
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Afnan S.
International Business & Strategic Management
Taught Postgraduate

My employment

Operations Specialist
Bigo Live
Large business (250+ employees)

More about Afnan

BAME student
Mature student

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A day in the life of a Operations Specialist in Pakistan

If I can get a decent job within the peak of the pandemic, then you must have the confidence and the belief in yourself too.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

Bigo Live is a social live streaming application with over 200 million customers around the world.

What do you do?

I am primariliy responsible for ensuring the (business development) strategies forwarded from the head office are properly implemented within the segments of Pakistan. In addition, I deal with several agents and celebrities to ensure that their use of the product is streamlined.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

Before graduating from York, I had worked for a SaaS (software as a service) company. After achieving a MSc in International Business & Strategic Management, I wanted to resume working in the same sector which also compliments to my recently acquired expertise. Therefore, I chose Bigo as it is a multinational with offices in more than 35 and customers in more than 100 countries.

Despite the markets being affected by the COVID19, I was immediately succesful to land a job here in Pakistan. I believe this was mainly because my resume had the prestigious addition of having a Masters from the University of York.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?


Describe your most memorable day at work

I have now been working for about 3 months. However, the most memorable day for me is the day when I physically went to the office. Because of the pandemic, all of us have been working from home and it was nice to see the physical workspace :(

On a serious note, something which made me really proud was when my line manager called me and told me of a potential leadership role in the upcoming months. He specifically told me that he feels I have the most potential amongst all the recent recruits of the company. I believe much of this was possible because of the technical and soft skills I developed here at York.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Bigo is a live streaming application which has a well diversifed user base. One of the toughest tasks at hand is to ensure customer satisfaction. At times, some of them are pretty difficult to "satisfy" and often end up misbehaving. However, this has been a great learning experience which also helps in improving my communication/soft skills.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I participated in any and every event I saw an advert for. Starting from the welcoming events (treasure hunts, concerts, game nights, quizes etc.) to academic events such strategy based simulation games, all of these directly and indirectly ensured I am dealing with a culturally well diversified lot. This in return helped me in being more confident at my workplace.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I am quite happy with where I am right now. However, in the near future I would like to move abroad for a different experience. Of course, this would be only considered once the pandemic ends...

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

First of all, do not feel discouraged because of the new environment and the hardships. When I was in my first semester, everything was totally new for me. The way the modules were taught, the town, the people and even many of the commonly used languages. In fact, I was worried I might fail a course or two. Fast forward a year and I was being given the award of the "Highest Achieving Student" at the graduation ceremony. Hence, work hard and never give up.

If I can get a decent job within the peak of the pandemic, then you must have the confidence and the belief in yourself too. York is an amazing institute which makes you well prepared for whats coming next.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

I am comfortable in helping out anyone who has any career related queries within my field. My expertise are primarily in Business Development and also have a sound knowledge of several other business management roles.

Something I would love to discuss with a potential or a current student at York is how they can ensure they're doing everything to maximize their learning experience at York. Not only at the University but also the beautiful town.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Afnan’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Afnan a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Afnan to be your mentor.

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